Stress has become an unwelcome companion in our fast-paced, technology-driven world. The constant barrage of anxieties and pressures can feel like an internal attack, leaving many of us searching for ways to find relief. Work emails often feel like life or death situations, social media feels like a mirror to never being good enough or happy enough and our phones feel like they’re giving us some sort of relief but the truth is, they’re not.
Recently, Egyptian entrepreneur Mo Gawdat and stress management coach Alice Law hosted a weekend event just outside of London to discuss one of the biggest quests of modern times: becoming “unstressable.”
Gawdat and Law delved into the essence of human connection, the art of surrendering to life’s unpredictable currents and how to disconnect from our phones for a happier life.
Human connection and AI
The audience was struck by Mo’s words when discussing the looming threat of AI, with the entrepreneur claiming that “human connection will be the most important thing to save humanity and the hardest to fight for.” The former CEO of Google X and AI expert is suggesting that the true antidote to the fears of the future is something we already have, and have always had. Eye contact, real conversation, true connection, time spent with family and friends, trusting and helping others: these are all the things we are both going to have to fight for and will save us. True human connection is what will help us weather the storms of life and we will find solace in one another’s company.
In some ways, these words act like a soft comfort blanket but also shine a light on how far we have wandered from ourselves and each other. We are so used to being distracted and running the hamster wheel of life, that we’ve lost sight of what’s important.
Embrace committed acceptance
Another important takeaway from the weekend was the importance of embracing committed acceptance. When you are stuck on an unhealthy thought spiral that’s causing you anxiety, stop and ask yourself:
Can I do anything about it?
If the answer is no, then you need to have a committed acceptance of what is. They propose surrendering to the flow of the present moment, instead of trying so hard to change or manipulate it. Just be with what is with the deep understanding that you will cope. There’s a strange peace to accepting whatever is, without striving for anything else.
Having said that, if you answer “yes” to the question,
Can I do anything about it?
then you absolutely should begin there. Make a different choice and see if the thought subsides. If the thought isn’t helping you, then simply say:
Brain, please give me another thought. This one is not serving.
This way of speaking to your brain is incredibly methodical and almost like speaking to a computer, but according to Mo, our brains are like machines and we can train them to quieten down when we want to.
Make conscious choices
Every moment offers us a choice. Mo explained
we are giving, if we’re lucky, 30 billion heartbeats to use from the moment we’re born, so how are you going to spend your precious heartbeats?
Mo Gawdat and Alice Law encourage us to use these heartbeats wisely by cultivating a mindset of love and kindness, we can contribute to a world filled with warmth and compassion, making our time on this planet more meaningful and fulfilling. Don’t try and change the world, but try and change the world around you. Be an inspiration to your little world, and you will have higher chances of positively affecting the most people.
Confront emotional discomfort
In today’s technologically driven society, we often seek solace in our smartphones when we encounter emotional discomfort. The Unstressable event and community remind us to confront these emotions head-on instead of escaping to the digital world. By sitting with our pain and opening our eyes to our fears, we embark on a journey of personal growth and self-discovery.
The fear of change is a deeply ingrained human instinct. Mo Gawdat and Alice Law challenge us to step out of our comfort zones and embrace transformation. They remind us to connect with each other and put a peaceful mind at the forefront of our healing.
If you want to join the Unstressable community, join the membership community here. For meditations, video calls with Mo and Alice and all the tools you need to become unstressable.
Looking for other ways to unwind? Check out our inspirational reads this summer.